Interpersonal competence configurations, behavior problems, and social adjustment in preadolescence

Thomas W. Farmer, David B. Estell, Cristin M. Hall, Ruth Pearl, Richard Van Acker, Philip C. Rodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study examines interpersonal competence configurations in relation to students' concurrent behavior problems and social risks for later adjustment difficulties. Participants are 648 (345 girls, 303 boys) fourth-grade students (65% White, 6.9% African American, 19.5% Hispanic, 4.6% Asian, and 4.0% Other) from the suburbs of a major Midwestern city. Competence and risk configurations are identified using cluster analytic procedsures with teacher ratings of interpersonal competence. Four distinct risk configurations are identified: Multi-Risk, Tough, Unengaged (boys); and Low-Academic (girls). These configurations are differentially related to the subscales and total problem scores on the Teacher Report Form and to social adjustment variables that have been shown to be linked to poor outcomes in adolescence. Implications for intervention development and future research needs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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